What Is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Problem Drinking?

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It’s not completely clear what the difference between alcoholism and problem drinking is, as the terms have been used interchangeably. However, there is a major difference between the two and it’s important that those differences are explained.

The Main Difference Between Alcoholism And Problem Drinking

Before you check into a rehab center in california, here is the differentiation between the two terms. Problem drinking is using alcohol in any way that negatively impacts your health and your life; this falls short of the body becoming physically dependent on the substance. Alcoholism, on the other hand, includes the physical addiction to alcohol in addition to the other problems that alcohol has on one’s life and health.

How To Tell If You’re A Problem Drinker

So how do you know if you’re an alcoholic or a problem drinker? You could be a problem drinker if:

  • Alcohol causes you to miss important functions like class or work
  • Alcohol causes you to avoid friends or family
  • You have blackouts after consuming alcohol
  • You frequently drive under the influence
  • It increases your propensity to do something illegal or get arrested for your behavior
  • Alcohol makes you feel depressed, violent, or angry

Problem drinking becomes alcoholism when there is a physical dependency on alcohol.

Does Problem Drinking Lead To Alcoholism?

Someone who is a problem drinker does not automatically mean that an individual has an Alcohol Use Disorder. Not all problem drinkers will become alcoholics in the future, especially if they recognize that they have a problem and get the appropriate alcohol treatment to end their problem drinking. However, without that help, problem drinkers continue to be at risk of becoming alcoholics. This is because the body becomes used to consuming alcohol over time, and dependency increases until a physical addiction occurs.

What Treatment Options Are There For Problem Drinking?

Both problem drinkers and alcoholics can benefit from alcohol treatment. Alcoholics tend to seek medical advice during treatment because their addiction results in withdrawal symptoms that require attention. In both cases, the individual goes through treatment that looks at the root cause(s) of their drinking. Those causes can be addressed, as well as the negative effects consuming alcohol has on their lives. The individual is then taught how to break their drinking patterns and eventually give up the habit so that they can become sober.

Where To Find Help For Alcoholism And Problem Drinking?

Help can be sought from an expert working at an alcohol addiction treatment center. You can make this connection through your medical provider, who might be able to refer you to the right place or choice of places. It’s easy to be skeptical that this kind of help will make a difference, but many who have gone through a rehab program have completely changed their lives for the better.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drinking problem, then don’t hesitate to contact a medical professional as soon as possible so that you can get the help you need. Your life will be better for it.

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